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My Career: From Start to Finnish

It’s no longer a secret that Finland has a lot to offer, says Megha

Get to know more about Megha on LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.

Couple of Expats

Megha Goswami, India. Marketing Coordinator & Content Creator

It was clear to Megha Goswami she wanted to get her master's degree overseas. Originally from India, with experience living in the US and Taiwan, she applied to several universities globally and finally opted for a molecular biotechnology and diagnostics programme at the University of Turku. Megha didn’t know much about the country then, beyond its cold climate, but was attracted by the programme’s acclaim and the full scholarship she was offered. 

One thing led to another and, six years years later, Finland has become Megha’s adopted home. She describes it as the country’s gravitational pull. It was facilitated by Megha quickly getting her foot on the job market through a summer position at a diagnostics firm and meeting her husband, who had moved to Turku from Latvia, during her studies.

Since then, Megha has carved out a career in marketing, found her current position within the health tech sector at Hidex and, with her husband, launched a food blog that has evolved into an online community offering guidance on studying and working in Finland. Helping other expats is a passion for Megha, and one she sees as having the potential to grow into a full-time career.

Study culture in Finland is very different [from India]…where competition is high. That’s not a surprise with the size of our population. There is a big pressure to succeed, which means the system is still built around competing. That kind of takes the focus away from learning, which I felt was the primary objective in Finland. The system here is [designed] to uplift all. 

Walks in nature offer a way for Megha to switch off from work.

Couple of Expats

There is also a lot of flexibility and room to choose the study methods that suit you best, for example.

Another difference is that while studying is important in Finland, building connections is also vital. If you are in the library the whole time, you will miss out on networking and building connections, which really matter here. The first door opened for me because I knew somebody who could forward my CV [to the right person].

It’s essential to prioritise meeting people… because you never know where something will lead. This can be hard for many internationals just starting in a new country, but don't be afraid to knock if the doors aren’t opening. Don't be scared to take the first step. Perhaps nobody offers you a job now, but there might be something you can do to stand out, and they might call you six months or one year down the line. Making some kind of an impression is better than being a nobody.

Support for international talent

There's a lot of curiosity about studying and working in Finland… much more than when I came here six years ago. One of the first responses I got when I said I was moving to Finland was: Why? At the time, people were going to the UK and the US. But now, with Finland being the happiest country in the world and people learning more about the Nordic lifestyle, it’s no longer a secret that Finland has a lot to offer. There is something that is working in this country that isn’t working in many other places. 

Megha and Kristaps Kovalonoks got married in Finland but also had a ceremony in Kolkata, India, including a haldi ceremony where it's customary to wear yellow.

Qpidindia

We have realised how much the international community… needs support. That is true for both the community already in Finland and those who haven’t arrived yet. So, with Couple of Expats, we have tried to do what our younger selves would have needed: a helping hand to answer the questions about how to build a life in Finland, how to open a bank account, and where to look for apartments. 

We are trying to build a community [around this]. We are juggling full-time work, so our efforts haven’t been at the rate we hoped they would be, but they are a work in progress. All I need to know is that I’m helping someone somewhere. I feel that becoming a full-time entrepreneur can be an opportunity for me in the future. 

The health tech industry is strong in Finland… but diversity and inclusion must be improved.In Turku alone, there are many small and medium-sized companies in the health and biotech industries. Still, they can have 100 people and no internationals. 

If you're in tech or IT, you can manage without Finnish language skills and find employers, but the minute it becomes life science-oriented, this somehow shifts. There might be a lot of reasons for this that I'm not aware of, but I would like to see this change in my time. 

Megha enjoys speaking engagements and aspires to develop this aspect of her career further.

Couple of Expats

Diversity brings new perspectives

My message to Finnish companies is to… be brave enough to hire international talent. When they hire their first international talent, that will be a learning journey where I hope they will witness positive change [in the company]. 

People who look and think the same aren’t often able to have the most diverse conversations. That’s why we need talent from everywhere. They have a different perspective to bring to the table.

We just bought a “rivitalo” [a terraced house] in Turku… which is great so we won’t be moving anywhere soon. Living costs are better in Turku than in Helsinki. 

But we might move to Helsinki at some point. We have big goals and to find people doing things on a similar level, more of them are located in the capital region. So it’s a possibility for us. 

 Megha and Kristaps met while studying.

Barbara Kaucher

I like to dedicate as much of my free time as possible to my channel… and because I also work full-time, that doesn’t really allow me to have many hobbies. I’ve spoken at events and would like to get into that more in the coming years. When I don’t want to work, we go for a movie or walk in nature. But my life is increasingly revolving around the international community. 

Also, I hope to be more active in the Indian community in Finland in the future. 

Whenever Finland has surprised me…it's been more positive than negative. The only thing I struggle with is the weather. I knew it would be cold, but it has been colder than expected.

Published on 15.05.2024